Ernest Hemingway A Farewell To Arms

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American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Illinois on July 21, 1899. In his late teens, after leaving high school, Hemingway began the onset of his writing career as a journalist for The Kansas City Star newspaper. Several months later, upon the United States’ (USA) involvement in World War 1 (WW1), Hemingway agreed to Red Cross recruitment offer, serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army at the front. The following few years of his life were highlighted by various experiences which served as a motive and background for many of his novels. At the front, he was wounded by a mortar shell, suffered injuries in both legs, hospitalized for six months, and met his wife Agnes during that period.
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These events were met by Hemingway’s passion for writing as he published his first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926), followed by A Farewell to Arms (1929) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). A Farewell to Arms, primarily based on Hemingway’s experiences in WW1, was one of Hemingway’s most successful novels, which explores the life of American ambulance officer Lieutenant Frederick Henry’s disillusionment and desertion in the war as his faith in love becomes the only driving force in his life (Ernest Hemingway – Biographical). Hemingway’s novel was later met by many feminist critics including Judith Fetterley, who accused Hemingway sexual and gender bias against women because the emotion acquainted with his novels depend more often on female death and rarely…show more content…
After his admission to the hospital in Milan, before the superintendent Miss Van Campen comes to see him, Henry points out that “[he does] not like her” (Hemingway p.86). They then engage in a tense conversation which ends with Miss Van Campen walking out. Soon after, while talking a nurse, Henry is told Miss Van Campen finds him “domineering and rude” whereas he refers to her as “snooty” (Hemingway p.87). This incident illustrates Henry’s, and thus Hemingway’s, disrespectful attitude towards authoritarian women with status and power. His spite towards such females is evident in another encounter with Miss Van Campen who accuses him purposefully causing Jaundice to evade working on the front. Henry instantly deflects by asking if she had “ever [known] a man who tried to disable himself by kicking himself in the scrotum”, which Henry considers is the “nearest sensation to jaundice”, and a feeling seldom experienced by women (Hemingway p.144). Through the use of a male anatomical feature, not only does Hemingway attempt to “establish masculine social identity” (professional student paper) and demean female control, but also supports Fetterley’s claim that Henry’s means of treating women are influenced by their sexuality (Fetterley
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